Florida native Mason Perkins sometimes feels a little unsafe using public mens restrooms — "I usually go into the male one but I have to kind of hide my face," he said — so when he was in a Florida Target last week, he jumped at the opportunity to use a restroom that had been specifically designated as trans-inclusive.
While he was in the Target bathroom, Perkins snapped a selfie and uploaded it to Facebook with the pointed caption "SHOUT OUT TO TARGET for letting me get up close and personal with their toilets, really enjoyed it, raped a total of zero children while pissing it was great 10/10 would piss again."
Perkins, who is 19 and recently finished his freshman year of college, is trans. His selfie went viral, racking up more than 10,000 shares. "I know [the caption] seems sarcastic," Perkins said, "But I'm actually really proud of what Target is doing."
Target announced in a statement in April that it officially supported customers using whichever bathroom matches their gender identity. The move came partially as a response to North Carolina's anti-LGBT "bathroom bill," which bans people from using a public bathroom that doesn't match their biological sex.
Proponents of the discriminatory legislation (and opponents of Target's bathroom policy) have argued that inclusive bathrooms are somehow unsafe for children, despite the fact there aren't any reported instances of a trans person attacking someone in a bathroom.
"It's just absolutely ridiculous," Perkins said of the anti-trans hysteria surround the bathroom debate. "They're trying to accuse me of doing something I haven't even done just so I can't share a space with them ... You know it's just their own personal bigotry." And, Perkins pointed out, "They should know that that've probably used a bathroom with a trans person" without even realizing it.
But Perkins said Target's new policy, and other signs of institutions moving toward trans-inclusivity, make him "definitely, definitely hopeful" for the future. That's partially why he wanted to share his own Target bathroom selfie. "The more exposure I can get out there ... the better."